Market: pre-war cars achieve best prices at strong SWVA sale

95% of lots sold at this SWVA sale in Poole, UK, where a 1930 Lagonda non-runner starred, an MGB went for double its estimate and only four cars failed to sell

Another packed house at SWVA in Poole, Dorset, saw 72 classics sell for £739,280 with premiums, among them a 94-year old Buick 2.4 Four (above) after 60 years of ownership with the vendor. It sold for £11,880.

By the end of the Friday morning session, only four cars had failed to sell during a 95% sold auction – the highest sale rate of the UK's April auctions.

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Another pre-WW2 survivor in the sale was a former 2-Litre Lagonda saloon of 1930 vintage. It had been pressed into carrying pigs to market in wartime, but by 1947 had been registered as an Open Tourer in which form it had been regularly MOT tested from 1975 until 2015, when it was consigned to a barn.

One of four probate sales, the handsome four-seater special was sold as a non-runner for a results-topping £89,640 including premium. The same deceased estate also benefited from the static sale of 1934 PA and 1937 TA MGs at £21,600 apiece, while a dismantled 1968 Jaguar E-type S2 4.2 OTS (with some new parts that were never fitted) was carried away for £24,300.

The morning’s second highest price paid was £47,520 for a 1953 Bristol 403 (above) that had been resident in Australia until repatriated in 2010, since when it had been resprayed. A 1959 MGA Twin Cam (below), shipped back from the US in the 1990s and restored with its Weber-fuelled Twin Cam engine rebuilt, sold for £39,960.

Much-viewed by potential project managers was a duties-paid imported 1963 Jaguar E-type S1 3.8 FHC donor that had been sourced from Eagle Racing in 2009, but never transformed by the E-type magicians. Apparently sound, though not running, the dusty left-hooker was taken on here for £45,360, way over the £25,000-30,000 guide.

Ancient Americans performed well with £24,840 bid on the phone for a big-finned GMC Chevy 265 Small Block Coupé, as seen in 1957 movies, and £12,960 capturing a 1925 Studebaker Standard 6 Dictator Sedan formerly of Tennessee.

This open-top Morris Minor, seen easing through the throng below, came off the production line in 1959 as a saloon. Having been the subject of an uncharted chop in the past, like too many other open-top Minors, the convertible conversion cruised to a £4325 result, £1300 more than had been forecast.

Other popular classics successfully transacted included a 1963 Volvo P1800, preserved in storage from 1984 to 2007 before being the subject of an inner wings, front crossmember and outriggers transplant. It made £15,120. Meanwhile a 1967 MGB Roadster that had been in receipt of a Heritage shell 24 MOTs ago could still pull £10,800, double top estimate.

No collector vehicle auction can be truly complete, it seems, without a Land Rover. A previously refurbished 1972 2.3 with big tanks became this sale’s giant jam jar surrounded by wasps, one of whom had to pay £5076 with charges to take to the hills.

The average price per lot paid here amounted to £10,268. The market could not really expect very much more from this most encouraging event, achieving the highest sale rate in April.

Classic Cars for Sale